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Am a contradiction of sorts. i love going out and having a good time with friends, and i can also stay home chill out over a book or a movie.. Am very passionate about writing, so give me a topic and watch me float away into wonderland... I Am crazy about music,books,friends and my doggie... :)

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Why do....

Why do people need no reason to give advice
but rarely take the same?

Why do people keep talking
and barely listen?

Who do people assume things 
and rarely wait to see reality?

Why do people "box" certain qualities
and barely look beneath the exterior?

Why do people rush to talk
and rarely think before they do?

Why do people hurt in a flash
and barely bat an eyelid at the pain they cause?

Why do people say something
when deep within they mean something else? 

Why do people 
do what they do???
say what they say???? 

Monday, December 20, 2010

Fishes and Fun

Felt like we were on a treasure hunt, no clues or no directions either.. We kept walking up and down the aisles, crowded with people, and noise filling our ears from all corners... We were at the new mall in Chennai- Express Avenue..  It all began 10mins earlier, when we reached the 2nd floor and A suddenly mentioned "Kenko", and how her office gets a discount with them, which she had facilitated...  

I pulled out my Blackberry, and found the address for Kenko= S289, 2nd floor.. Alas,this dint really help, none of the shops knew their number or where 289 was... Finally, one soul [security guard] guided us and voila, we found a standee for "Kenko"... 

Standing outside the door, we debated on "should we go in, or not"... Curiosity got the better of us .. We walked into the dimly lit Spa, white comfy looking sofas lined the walls, a curved reception area with a big statue of Buddha behind glowing in the blue light from the ceiling.. 

Kenko, popularly known for its Reflexology and Fish therapy.. Kenko, which means ‘healthy’ in Japanese, has its headquarters in Singapore and is very popular all over Malaysia and Indonesia.
 Few minutes later, i was getting my feet washed and was guided to a tank filled with a zillion little silver fish... These fish feed on Dead cells, and are imported from Turkey is what Ajit Menon, the man[COO] who brought Kenko to Chennai told us... And with that, i had done one more new thing for the year 2010.. Woohoo! :)


My friend too bit the bait, and took her place on the platform next to mine... Within minutes, i was over the tickly buzz that the fish were creating on my leg and was floating away into lala land... We had chosen to try the 15min Fish spa treatment, just to see what it was all about... What fun!! And at the end of the time, i actually felt nice, my feet were soft, and felt good..i dint want to walk around, but wanted to put them pretty feet up and lounge... :) 

A also tried out the Ear Candling treatment=  apparently they put a candle in your ear, light it up, massage olive oil on neck and face to help release toxins from inside... They also have quite a few other options and combos for those who are looking for relaxation... 

Other services:: Head Acupressure, Aromatic head Massage, Shoulder and Back Massage, Harmony Body Massage for women, Ear Candling, Head to Toe massage .... 

Ambience: I quite liked the ambience, it was soothing, and the colours added to the atmosphere..

Price: Not very expensive.. The 15mins fish spa was Rs300.. They have some good deals starting from Rs600 [fish spa+ Massage or reflexology, etc] 

Service: Excellent.. Those working here are very professional and damn sweet [indulging in our quirks, soothing the fears]

Location: perfect.. Away from the hustle bustle of the mall, the crowd,and shops, the Spa is located at the far corner [The other end from Odyssey, on 2nd floor]

Suitable for people across ages... kids to adults... infact we saw quite a few members from a single family enjoying and sharing their experiences... :-)

Saturday, December 11, 2010


Some people come into our lives and quickly go.  Some stay for a while, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never, ever the same.  ~Flavia Weedn

There are childhood friends
There are friends
There are colleagues
There are partners [lovers, bf, gf, spouse]
and then there is family... 

do people change
do we change
do our expectations from them change
do circumstances change us/ them

they become distant
they don't seem to care.. 
they go cold
we become cynical
we wonder if they care 

are we hallucinating?
are we expecting too much?
are we being unreasonable?
are they being unfair?
are they raising walls? 

we change
we withdraw
we go distant
we draw a shield around "me"
we know we have only "I"

No, am not hallucinating or i have not lost it.. but just been coming to terms with life and people around me...Realised that with every relationship there is a fine line, some more visible than others... and no one is really ours... are they?? 

What are your thoughts on this??? Do share... 

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Tweet tweet...

I've always embraced new technology, which is probably why after an initial phase of silence, i took to twitter like a fish takes to water... over the past few months, i've not only made friends, but also built quite a base for work !! 

Thanks to twitter i bought my new phone- Blackberry curve 8520... 
Thanks to twitter i have won a few items- iPod shuffle, Tshirt, etc...
Thanks to twitter i have created a network of writers
Thanks to twitter i have been able to keep abreast with news from across the world... 

Recently, i saw a tweet cc'd to me which was related to Blackberry phones.. thinking it was a usual "i want to know if the BB is worth it or not" kinda tweet, i waited to see what the person [@nkumar_] would respond. Instead, to my surprise, he sent a mail asking if i want to participate in a survey for his blog... '

It did take me a few days to get around to it, but it was a fun experience... decided to share the same with my Blog readers... 

Fifth interview-Aarti stands by side of her Blackberry [Nitish kumar's blog]

When I wished to find one Blackberry user for the series, then unlike Samsung or Apple, it really was not that hard to spot some user with a blackberry in hands. It was all justifiable when stats says that Blackberry has a strong presence in Business market. But honestly speaking, it was hard to spot one, who could talk about freely and love it for means other than messaging or riding on some of my experiences, I was away from Blackberry world.
One of the friend from twitter came to rescue and suggested me the name of Aarti, I contacted her and it was a go. Let’s see, what the first female ‘common’ voice has to say about her Blackberry and her.

Aarti, Can you tell us something about you? like your profession,background etc..blogging\ social life
A HR professional by education, i worked in Recruitments and other HR functions for nearly 6yrs before switching gears and moving into Training and Writing. Today, I am part of a content outfit called The Content Shop, which i run with a partner. Based in Chennai, I enjoy travelling, capturing photographs of places I visit and other interesting things that catch my eye and not to forget, love books, music, movies and making friends. An avid blogger, I maintain 4 personal blogs, each on a different genre.
Me: Really looking for the rest part of the interview as here is one BlackBerry users who likes to take many photographs, a teritory forbidden to Blackberry in common knowledge.
A neat and clean blog you have that covers variety of topics and so many other websites too, but unable to see you writing much for Gizmos though people know you as Gizmo junky. Why so?
Yes, I am crazy about gizmos and gadgets, but more about learning, exploring and playing rather than writing. But I have written a few posts, most of which have been about the phones I have used and the experience of playing with an iPad before it was launched here. Since I also write for a living, it becomes tiring to sit and pen reviews on blog as well, but this is something I want to rectify.
Me: We will sure welcome you as a tech blogger as well.
Black Berry.. Some call it B for business and B for bore phones .. Is it really so? Why you are with Black Berry and since when? Which model you have right now?
I call it the Black beauty that has made my life so much easier, and fun. I contradict all those who say the Blackberry is all work and no fun, i enjoy listening to music, taking pictures and chatting with friends. I bought my 1st Blackberry in march 2010- The Curve 8520, the beauty is all of 9months old.
When did you plan for your first Black Berry and was it planned or just a chance? What was the main reasons behind the purpose? Honestly, i didn’t plan for a Blackberry. I had been using Nokia N95 8GB for over years, and was extremely happy with it. But then, one day suddenly the backlight started flickering, and it died. Even then, i didn’t plan on going for a Blackberry, i wanted to get my Nokia fixed, and so i bought a basic Nokia phone as a stop gap. Alas, after replacing the slider cable, the backlight problem persisted, and i was in Bangalore on work, and realized that its about time I should switch phones. That is when I had become quite active on Twitter, and we were a gang of 5-6, almost all of whom were on the Blackberry.. and thanks to their guidance, i went in for the Blackberry curve, basic model, not very expensive, and one that will serve the purpose of keeping track of mails, and making it possible to Facebook and Twitter as well.
QWERTY were designed keeping business persons in mind and so were other BB Services. There was BB messenger, but it didn’t looked much social except Facebook Web App etc. Not even a decent twitter client other than web based What are the reasons that a normal fun loving user should roam around Black Berry?
Fyi, Dabr was something i wasn’t even keen on when i picked up the Blackberry for i knew there were various Twitter apps and other apps that would be helpful for work and otherwise. On my Nokia, i had Snaptu where i accessed Fb and Twitter from. Any person using a Blackberry will tell you how high it is on fun factor – we can chat on the go, browse the net, play games, listen to music, take good pictures [albeit my curve does not have flash], download game apps, we also have other apps to chat with non Blackberry users. What more does one need?
You don’t feel old fashioned with Black Berry now in the world of touch phones? How come thats possible? There is no such thing as being old fashioned when it comes to devices, we pick up what we do only because we want functional, smart and one that fits in our budget. For me it was a conscious decision to buy a Blackberry which was not touch.. The Storm 1 and 2 were in the market, but since i had an iPod touch, i knew i dint want another touch device. When am home, i use my iPod touch more than my Blackberry, but for the BBM and phone facilities, I have to use Blackberry. 
My Blackberry has been a saving grace in many occasions. I love to travel, and many a trip I do on my own and without much planning. So, when we landed at the destination, I have used the Google maps app to figure my way around. The browser enables me to search for other sights to see around there, or even to check on train tickets and so on.
For a recent event, I was the live tweeter and blogger, and this was made easy thanks to my Blackberry. I dint have to lug around my heavy Sony vaio laptop, fight with a poor net connection on Reliance, or look for a seat near a power point. I could simply do all this through my Blackberry, and all it needed was a full battery charge.
In other circumstances, I use the BBM to exchange information with friends and even a few clients; have managed to take pictures of certain aspects, and share them with my friends or target audience instantly, thereby not wasting time and earning enough coverage for the same.
Me: Definitely, we have got a strong voice in support of Blackberry here. Looking more of it.

You use Black Berry for accomplishing which thing most… calls, browsing, navigation, movies, twitter.. which one? I use the Blackberry for Mails, Phone[call and text], BBM, Navigation, Twitter , Facebook and linkedin.
Have you tried Nokia Messaging and E72 like Nokia Business category phones? What’s difference of mailing performance between them and your BB? I have used a N95 8Gb, and have also tried E63, E72. Back then the Nokia phones did not have push email, but yes, they have almost all features of a Blackberry. I am a Nokia loyalist, but i do say they have gone down in their devices and performance, so am happy with my move to Blackberry.
Me: Well! the Nokia inside me, could have argued a little, but its her show.. isn’t it?
We hear many things about Black Berry Enterprise services. What are they? Do you use any of them? How good they are? BES basically is a integrated service that offers emails, messaging, desktop tools, and so much more All of them are very good, no 2nd thoughts on that! I use the following ,-
  • Email
  • Instant Messaging
  • Calendar and task list
  • Address Book
  • Memo Pad – to note down important details, etc
  • Messaging (MMS & SMS)- BBM included
QWERTY was great, when it started with Blackberry but now many other vendors out in market with similar QWERTY and Nokia E71 been heart throb for many. I have seen Black Berry old models trouble with Track Ball issues a lot. Where they do cut it now? Blackberry was smart enough to understand the Trackball issue and have now replaced it with the Trackpad, which is what i have on my Curve 8520, it is absolutely smooth for surfing and no issues whatsoever.
Nokia Business phones have made their places for insane battery lives and yet an experience at par with normal fun phones. How is the battery performance of Black Berry in comparison to that? Agreed that Blackberry’s battery performance is not as high as Nokia, but then i guess there are more apps running here, and there are ways of maximizing battery life.
Like in one of the last interview, Deep said, if someone really need a great camera then digital cameras are already there and for people highly concerned on quality there are DSLRs. Is camera really important to be a part of smartphone to be treated as deal breaker as this is something Black Berry phones sure lack big on? Well, for most people I’ve met, camera in phone is not so important. But I like having a camera, probably because i am interested in photography. So, if I am generally around the city or travelling and something catches my eye, I like to take a shot of it. I might share it with others, I might simply use it as a background on my phone, so a basic camera would do. Enjoyed the 5MP camera on my N95, but the 2 MP on Blackberry Curve is good enough. The camera is however, not a deciding factor while buying phones!
Me: Well… I will say  Nokia N8 owners or admirers will argue.
Durability and tank like built are some of the qualities, people might be looking in hard core performers like Black Berry. How much well built you find your black berry? What about the weight etc. The Blackberry is super sturdy, i can vouch for it. I have dropped it a few times and not a single scratch on it.. My Blackberry curve is quite light, weighs about 106gms.
Me: Wow!! that’s definitely some lighter one in comparison with other models I have seen yet.
As Pankaj said last day "A fanboy is the one, who says it wasn’t needed if his phone doesn’t support something". There are areas like Maps, Games, Music, camera, social aspects etc, where Black Berry is not a big name. What you say on it? Defend it or criticize them? Quite contrary, the Blackberry supports almost everything you can think of .. There are applications available in the Blackberry App world for – Maps, scheduling calls/emails for a later date/time, Chat, games, news, social networking, music, media, and so much more.!!
Others are bringing new features to smart phones like HDMI, USB OTG that will change the way we use smart phones, where you find Black Berry on that? I am sure RIM is not going to sit back and let the others come up with new features. They will also add whatever they see deem fit for the Blackberry users. Blackberry has been way ahead of its times, in fact they were the 1st to bring in push email, and so on. So, lets wait and see.
We hear about apps crashing and UI issues on Symbian, Android sometimes, what about Black Berry OS? How smooth and simple operations are here? Do you find yourself stuck in menus and icon sometimes when trying to change some settings or its always clear and simple? The OS on my Blackberry curve has been mighty smooth, my phone has not crashed ever [touch wood]. In fact neither has my Nokia N95. Either am lucky, or the phones are good!! The Blackberry does hang at times, and i noticed it is when i try doing too many things within a matter of seconds, it is not as fast as my brain ;)
How is GPS there? I found the A-GPS part better than earlier, locking instantly sometimes based on cell tower even if not precise. Whats your experience with  it? Any place you visited with this only? Do you prefer to keep Google Maps installed on your N8 also? I have not used N8 extensively to comment on this. But i have used navigation on N95, and found it quite good. But ever since I started using Google Maps, i must say i prefer the same on any phone I am on. Be it on my Nokia or now the Blackberry curve 8520. Its the same good everywhere.
Now days China phones are making big in India and things which are concentrating big on are Texting and social messaging via QWERTY. May be their QWERTY solutions might not be perfect like BB, but how much worth you think they have for people, who are not much into Smartphone thing? This actually depends on the person buying the phone. If they are happy with the QWERTY on the China manufactured phones and if it satisfies their needs, good for them! And many people don’t need emails on the go, or be able to browse on their phone. They are happy with a basic phone that might allow calls, texting and yes, today social networking has become the way of life.
Do you like to hear music a lot? FM Radio etc? How much your Black Berry Helps? Yes, I need music all the time. NO matter what am dong, there has to be music. This is why i have about 30 songs on my Blackberry which i listen to at times. But mostly, when travelling within and outside the city, i carry my iPod touch for music. I listen to radio at home, never on the phone, so don’t miss it on the Blackberry.
The web is buzzing a lot about App store thingy..How is Black Berry App store? Are there enough worthy apps? How many apps you have installed on your phone? Can you name a few? The Blackberry App world is a boon to us Blackberry users. It has apps that are more than worthy and almost all are free for download .. There are apps for gaming, chatting, texting, news, media, music, videos, maps, F1, travel, fitness, managing work, and so much more that am yet to explore. 
Do you think Black Berry can act as a full time phone in your hands or you need some backup phone too .. considering fun factor limitations in mind? I have been using my Blackberry for the past 9 months, and don’t have a backup phone, in fact never thought of this at all. It serves all my needs and work well.
If you have to show off your Black Berry to someone new, then how you go with that? Which features you list and in which order? If the person has many friends, i would start with BBM and then talk about how cool it is to be able to read mails, and do other functions on the go.
If the person is into business and travels extensively, then the push email and calendar and maps are what will appeal.
What about Cloud Services? May vendors started following the model that start a new phone, give your cloud login and your phone is all setup with your earlier contacts etc. Is there something in Black Berry too? Yep, I know Blackberry has that facility too, though i haven’t explored it much.
As we know Black Berry is primarily focused on Mails only, so is it worth for people, who don’t have a data package from their service provider? What about No GPRS availability conditions? Is BlackBerry any worth if come without a data plan?
People who don’t have a data package are those who don’t need email updates who therefore wont have a Blackberry, so this is a moot point in the discussion.. Blackberry is meant for those who are keen on keeping up with work, while having a good time on the side. If a person does not have GPRS, nor data package, he deserves to use a basic phone from Nokia or other makers!
Be honest, if your younger bro ask you for some phone, then which one you will suggest to him, same as yours or some other? Which one? I will suggest Blackberry to anyone ONLY if i feel they have a need for it. Since I am into gadgets, i would suggest a phone that suits their needs and budget. I am not going to recommend everyone around me buy a Blackberry just because i have one. :)
What you don’t like about Black Berry? And what things stand a chance for improvement with some new kind of Black Berry phones coming in now days? The only thing i have a complaint about is the poor battery life, it lasts for just about 24hours. And maybe have an external extendable memory card option. Everything else is perfect!
Your score points to the Black Berry (rating if any..) I would rate the Blackberry Curve 8520 a 9/10

So, this was the journey to the world of Blackberry with a user, who seems so loyal to it and I also know that it might not be making that high buzz on twitter etc, but when we look out then there are really too many loving their blackberry.
Want all of you to come here and share yourself as well.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

what is..

What is it about families that has us going "Oh no, not again?'

What is it about calls from certain friends that make us go "Awww, couldnt we keep talking...."

What is it about a few people that make us think "oh jeez, there he/she goes again.. doesnt he/she ever get tired?"

What is it about certain shops that has us "tired and vexed "

What is it about a few tasks that leaves us "Exasperated, excited and anxious"

What is it about pets that makes us wonder "Wow, He/she sure loves me more than anything in the world, wonder how i got so lucky"

What is it about select books that "churns our tummies.... makes us weep.... has us laughing out loud.... gasping.... banging our head and wondering why we picked up the book"

What is it about few songs that has us "singing along, loud...... Switching to next track even before the track begins.... sharing the track with friends and others.......looking for other songs by same singer."

What is it about select destinations, that makes us "want to visit again.... leaves us overwhelmed.... envelopes us in its warmth..... brings out the child in us"

What is it about certain dishes that will always "have us salivating.... yearning to savour it again..... dreading a visit to the hotel........... dying to get the recipe and try "

What is it about those few movies that has us "Smiling............... tapping our feet... weeping.... getting angry.... totally getting involved... switching off the DVD or TV instantly"

:D ever wondered these?????

Monday, November 8, 2010

Books Books and more Books

Saw this tag on Monika’s blog, got tempted
Saw this tag on Prateek’s blog and knew i had to do it.... 
And today, Vishesh has tagged me on his post... 

A book worm like me, not do a book tag.. Blasphemy i say!! Here goes...

Favorite childhood book? Mystery of the five find-outers and Naughtiest girl series- Have lost count of how many times i would have read and re-read these books. And don’t remember who introduced me to the books either.!! Probably my uncles..

What are you reading right now? The Outlier-Malcolm Gladwell; Ripples-Collection of stories by women writers and  [re-reading] To kill a Mocking Bird Harper Lee

Bad book habit? – If it is a good book, i tend to finish it in one shot, ignoring everything else, including sleep. I don’t read the paper, i read my book along with morning coffee and again at night, i end the day with a few pages. 

Do you have an e-reader? – Nope and I don’t think I will ever buy one. I do have the option of ebook reading on my iPod touch, but nothing can beat the joy of flipping pages and savouring the words.

Do you prefer to read one book at a time or several at once? Iused to read only one book at a time, but off late i read multiple books[atleast 2-3, 1 of which will be non-fiction]

Have your reading habits changed since starting a blog? I read as much, if not more. I have met like minded people, book lovers, and the doors to many more authors, genres, books have been opened via blogging. 

Least favorite book you read this year (so far)? The Brick Lane by Monica Ali has to be the worst ever read book all my life.. I just couldn’t plough through the pages and it is an award winner.

Favorite book you’ve read this year? Eat pray love by Elizabeth Gilbert 

How often do you read out of your comfort zone? I don’t really have a comfort zone when it comes to books, I can read anywhere, in an empty room or crowded mall/coffee shop. When at home, at night i like to read for a while on my bed before sleep takes over

What is your reading comfort zone? Anywhere where i have a good book is my comfort zone... Could be the bed, sofa, porch, dining table, loo, train, bus, or flight...

Can you read on the bus? Yes...

Favorite place to read? I love sipping on hot coffee or hot chocolate and enjoying a book in Coffee shops.

What is your policy on book lending? I am possessive of my books, but don’t mine lending them to friends/people who i know will take care of the book and return it in good condition.

Do you ever dog-ear books? Nope, i use bookmarks... J

Do you ever write in the margins of your books? Nope, if the book is mine, it will have my name and date of purchase on front page.

Not even with text books? Well, in text books, i used to highlight and maybe jot down a word or two here and there, but this too i started while in college.

What is your favourite language to read in? English and Tamil. Trying to read some Spanish[since i started learning that language]

What makes you love a book? The cover design, the plot, subject [law, medicine, travel, etc], language, characters, Pace and style of writing.

What will inspire you to recommend a book? If I enjoyed a book i will recommend it. At times i recommend books based on the person i am recommending them to [knowing their interest]

Favorite genre? Crime, Travel, Biographies, Romance & books that make you think[insightful]
Genre you rarely read (but wish you did?) – Science fiction

Favorite biography? Higher Than Hope: The Authorized Biography of Nelson Mandela and The autobiography of Maharani Gayatri Devi

Have you ever read a self-help book? I have tried reading Robin Sharma, but just dint work!! Enjoy the Fish Tales and of course Eat Pray Love

Most inspirational book you’ve read this year (fiction or non-fiction)? The Last Lecture  by Randy Pausch and Its Not about the Bike by Lance Armstrong

Favorite reading snack? I generally don’t eat while reading but i might have a cup of tea or coffee with a cookie, or sandwich when am in a coffee shop.

Name a case in which hype ruined your reading experience – Cant recall any such book. Probably because i don’t give in to the hype, infact i go the other direction J

How often do you agree with critics about a book? Ever since i started blogging, i rely on reviews and feedback from friends and fellow bloggers.

How do you feel about giving bad/negative reviews? I do write book reviews, and well, if the book was terrible, i will write the same.

If you could read in a foreign language, which language would you chose? Spanish & French

Most intimidating book you’ve ever read? Arthashastra by Kautilya.. My cousin had been wanting to 
read, so i had bought it for him, but thought i shall read before giving it , and failed... Couldn’t go beyond 1st 5pages, it was beyond me.

Most intimidating book you’re too nervous to begin? None

Favourite Poet? Keats, Wordsworth, Ogden Nash and Rabindranath Tagore.

Favourite fictional character? Sherlock Holmes...

Favourite fictional villain? Raavanan? Does he qualify?

Books I’m most likely to bring on vacation? Indian Authors and Light reading material.

The longest I’ve gone without reading – 12days, when i attending Vipassana in Pune last year and we were not allowed to read.
Name a book that you could/would not finish-- The Brick Lane and Arthashastra 
What distracts you easily when you’re reading? Work!

Favourite film adaptation of a novel? Devil Wears Prada, The Godfather series, Angels & Demons, My sister’s Keeper, The Firm

Most disappointing film adaptation? Aisha, Da Vinci Code are the only ones i can remember offhand.

The most money I’ve ever spent in the bookstore at one time?  In one single purchase? Probably 1K... Most of the time its small purchases, or using gift vouchers

How often do you skim a book before reading it? Always while shopping for books, and never while getting ready to read.

What would cause you to stop reading a book half-way through? The books gets beyond boring, an important phone call, guests at home, or work

Do you like to keep your books organized? Yes, i do.

Do you prefer to keep books or give them away once you’ve read them? I keep the books and I dream of a huge library at home

Are there any books you’ve been avoiding? Not really.

Name a book that made you angry – Kite Runner, Thousand Splendid Suns, and Daughters of Arabia....

A book you didn’t expect to like but did? Almost Single by Advait Kala

A book that you expected to like but didn’t? Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry and Brick Lane by Monica Ali.

Favourite guilt-free, pleasure reading? Calvin & Hobbes, Archie comics, Pearsl before swine, Dilbert[on my Blackberry], Nicholas Sparks, Haruki Murakami, Banana Yoshimoto, Jodi Picoult, Nora Roberts, RK Narayan, Jeffery Archer, and whole host of Indian writers.
A book is a garden, an orchard, a storehouse, a party,
a company by the way, a counselor, a multitude of counselors.
~ Henry Ward Beecher ~
And that brings us to the end of the original tag and now starts Shilpa’s version

Books I love or “the ones I can read again and again and again and…..”

Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts : "Gosh, that is one big book" was my 1st thought. No sooner did i start reading, did i realise it was quite a riveting story, with some fun one liners and a good mix of everything we look for in a book.

Malgudi Days: RK Narayan is one man who knows how to write and hold audeince’s attention through the book, till the last word. Enjoyed the book, watched the TV series, and now rereading the book.

The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch- I saw the video on Youtube 1st, and then hunted for the book, found it in the library and read it within 2hours. What a life changing, inspiring book that is... 

Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting Out of the Box [LEADERSHIP & SELF-DECEPTIO] by Arbinger Institute, a book recommended by a friend, sent to me in e-format. I recall taking print outs and reading this... Good read for those who want to learn about Thinking outside the box!! Dont think the book is in circulation, but if you find it, grab it and read!!
Blink by Malcolm Gladwell- A book that wasn’t gripping, a non fiction, but one that was interesting, had me thinking and wondering if we all act 1st and think later. Beautifully explained concepts!

  And yes, there are so many more books that have inspired me, moved me, touched me, made me cry, scream, want to pull my hair out, strangle the writer and made me laugh...  If you are a book lover, enjoy reading, sharing, and want to, go ahead do this tag!! Let me leave you with this...............

Readers may be divided into four classes:
1.) Sponges, who absorb all that they read and return it in
nearly the same state, only a little dirtied.
2.) Sand-glasses, who retain nothing and are content to get
through a book for the sake of getting through the time.
3.) Strain-bags, who retain merely the dregs of what they read.
4.) Mogul diamonds, equally rare and valuable, who profit by
what they read, and enable others to profit by it also.
~ Samuel Taylor Coleridge ~

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The ink flows...

There was a time when i wondered "What will i do now that i have quit my crazy job.. Especially since we dint have fixed work timings, and i worked round the clock, through the year, no holidays, no festivals, no weekends." .. And now, over 3years has gone by and i cant recall a day when i was jobless, sitting idle and not doing anything.. Phew!! Such a blessing .... 

These days, time flies by and before i know it, the clock strikes 12 and this princess is still working or planning for the next day.. I am a freelance writer, part of a content outfit and so we are either working on a current project, making pitches or looking for new venues to dive into. In all this, i sometimes have no energy to write a blog post, or read a book.. And so, last month i made up my mind to do as much as possible in a day!!

Couple of months ago, i took on the NaBloPoMo challenge, and managed to churn out a post a day on this blog, but when i tried continuing the same onto my Travel blog,i dint succeed beyond 2weeks, plus travel plans also prevented me from writing daily.  Where am i going with all this? Wait up....

Few days ago, a friend , Sudhamshu put up a tweet about how he was looking forward to NaNoWriMo, which piqued my curiosity and i started questioning him about it.  Discovered, its a concept whereby you write a few words daily, or whatever works for you but the ULTIMATE goal is to have completed 50,000 words on 30th Nov.. Sounds quite daunting, but i have decided to give it a shot, especially since writing Fiction doesnt come easy to me. Let me see how far i manage!!

Wish me luck.. may the "fun fantasy fairy" be with me :)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

By the water cooler.... Sly me!

Parul from Brining up Adi  is all set to launch her second book ” By the water cooler” . If you read her first book-- ”Bringing up Vasu” you will look forward to her second book.... 

  • You need to write a post telling a story or an anecdote based in an office. It could be about you, your spouse, kids, neighbour, whoever – it just needs to be based in an office. It can be funny, serious, somewhere in between, but it needs to be based in an office. It can feature a single protagonist or multiple characters, but it…yes, I know, you got it. 
  • You need to link to this post
  • You need to put By The Water Cooler in the title of your post
  • You need to leave me a link to your post in the comments section
  • If you don’t have a blog, leave me your entry in the comments section and it will be counted
If your entry is selected then you will get autographed copy of this book :-) 

LAST DATE - October 31st, 2010

Here is my entry.............

It was Oct 2005, i still remember the day vividly.. I had been at this fancy corporate for little over 3 months, and had just about settled in. I was taking care of Middle and Senior level recruitments [on my own] and had been managing quite well. I sat in the 6th floor where all the Vice Presidents of various departments had their cabin. Our cubicles in the center and their cabins all around, like as if they were guards watching over us. 

Anyways, without getting carried away... It was a Saturday, and our Corporate HR head was in town for some Senior level interviews.  I had come in early, set everything up, made sure the candidates shortlisted for the final round remembered their schedule. It was 12.45pm and i was getting ready for my Spanish class. A candidate had just finished his interview and was walking out, when i decided to hop into the Boss's room to remind him of my heading out for a bit for the class and the afternoon line up.
This is what happened next.... 
Me: Sir, may  i come in?

Him: Yes, please come in and take a seat, will be with you in a minute[ he was on the phone]

Me: I stood anyways, waiting for him to turn

2secs later
Him: So, tell me why you want to move to Chennai and take on this position? From your resume i can see you have quite an extensive experience, and you have been in Hyderabad all your life.

Me: [Gaping and lost wondering what to say.. but understood that Boss had assumed i was the next candidate, coincidentally was a woman ;)]
Sir, i am looking for something new and challenging. yes, i have spent all my life in Hyderabad, but am ready to move to Chennai if the opportunity presents itself.

Him: The position Will require you to work during night since it is a US based process. Can you manage that?

Me: [cheeky me] Yes, Sir! In my present job i come in during the day, but work for atleast half a night... 

Him: [Swivelved in his chair and had the most stumped look on his face]

Me:[ was suddenly damn nervous and wee bit scared of what he was going to say]

Him: You know something, Aarti..[slowly a smile crept up his face] I was going to offer you the position. You sounded quite convincing back there... 

Me: err, umm. Thank you Sir... :)[gave the biggest sheepest smile i could remember]

Him: So, did you come to see me for something? Are there any candidates waiting or shall we break for lunch? :)

Me: Came to tell you that we can break for lunch and that i was going to go attend my Spanish class and return. Everything is taken care of, and the candidates will be guided by Sruti from the other HR team.

Him: Alright then, go on... get out of here!! 

This incident i shall remember always... He was also the one who was most reluctant when i said i was quitting.. Tried hard to get me to take a 3mth break and return!!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Live and Tweeting

Last wednesday evening i remember catching up with Sandeep at the Subway F4 meet and talking about weekend agenda... Thursday was spent getting a new battery for my laptop, which happily died on me friday evening and i was left in the mercy of my awesome phone!! Oh well!! ... 

The weekend was already there and now its over and gone!! Saturday and Sunday spent at IIT Madras being a part of the TEDxChennai ... Its been over a year since i was inside the IIT campus, and it was a lovely feeling walking through the road enveloped by lush greenery..
I had been curious about TED and wanted to attend a conference atleast, and that is a wish that came true quite fast!! One day i read a tweet from Sandeep inviting Tweets/Bloggers and photographers for the event.. i replied expressing interest and voila, i was in!! 

Saturday had me landing in IIT at 11am, enjoying a few speeches [which were actually a trial run for Sunday] and ofcourse the TEDx chennai workshop run by Laura Stein, giving inputs on how to go about having your own TEDx conference....

Kiruba shankar and Ram Sahasranam, the duo who brought TED to India

Tweeting was basically giving updates minute by minute on what was going on, something interesting someone said, a picture, a person, and so on. My phone did save grace by being alive through the day, well almost...and then luckily there was wifi in the workshop room which meant i pulled out my iPod touch and swung into action.. vroom tweet vroom tweeet vroom tweet!! :)

 The whole bunch of us- tweeter me & Sylvian[on the mac] and rest were blogging...

 As the day ended, and i walked out of the campus, i started wondering how Sunday would be,  and if my phone would sustain through the day.... There was wifi in the Auditorium but not accessible[protected and meant for IIT students]... Charged my phone to full, and headed to the Audi at 8am excited and anxious.... 

The day then flew by with speaker after speaker enthralling us with their experiences, videos, pictures and life lessons... during a break, we went out exploring the Product stalls... Met Balaji Lakshmanan[part of F4 gang] and is an IIT student, robotics expert who was showcasing a robot he had created... Next to him stood a small guy, who wasnt fluent in English, but had invented a machine that wowed us... This was a device that he says will detect mobile phones when they are in silent mode... He has pitched to Egmore Jail and they have expressed interest. Said he hadnt gone ahead marketing it as he was waiting for funding.... !! Was so overwhelmed.... 

The guy in red shirt in the middle...the one in suit is Balaji Lakshmanan

For those interested, the videos/speeches will be up on TEDx website shortly... you can however read the blogs posted live on TEDx blog There is also an interesting post made by an attendee, Venkatesh on yourstory

It was one awesome experience- not only did i manage to attend the conference, share the expereince, i also managed to take home some lessons as well.. .... And i did get some cool feedback from those present and others on my tweets.. Looking fwd to more such opportunities....

 The entire social media team- Bloggers.. tweeters... photographers!

A weekend well spent... 

Group Pics Courtesy the Photographers at the event...

Others: Me!! Shall upload others i had taken and share link